The Gogglebox pair should stick to what they do best: having a good time
Steph and Dom, who became TV stars by watching TV on TV, have got their own TV show. Actually, the posh ones off Gogglebox have gone it alone before, getting sozzled at home with a selection of dubious celebrities including Nigel Farage and Louis Walsh. This one – Steph and Dom’s One Star to Five Stars (Channel 4) – taps into their talent for running a bed and breakfast. They spend a few days in struggling hotels and guest houses up and down the country, then suggest ways they could be improved.
So not unlike The Hotel Inspector on Channel 5 then? Not unlike is one way of putting it, blatant rip-off another. But this is more amateur, more bumbly, more Steph and Dom. And, ignoring their politics, I think
I’d rather spend half an hour in the company of Steph and Dom than an hour with either Alex Polizzi or Alex’s THI predecessor Ruth Watson (who went on to do other shows on Channel 4 that also weren’t unlike The Hotel Inspector).
Right, so S’N’D are in Bridlington, Yorkshire, for the first time, I imagine. Specifically, they’re at the Ransdale hotel, which is in need of fresh impetus and ideas. And kedgeree, for breakfast, thinks Steph, as an alternative to a full English. Owners Tim and Lisa aren’t convinced about kedgeree, but they’ll go with it.
In town, Steph gets smoked haddock for the kedgeree. And tries a cockle, definitely for the first time. “That was lovely, thank you very much,” she says, having just, not very subtly, spat it out. “Revolting, utter filth,” she later tells Dom, about the cockles I hope, not the locals. Funny how oysters are posh, and cockles aren’t, isn’t it?
Dom, meanwhile, is giving one of the rooms a seaside-themed makeover, which involves painting it the same blue as his shirt and putting up a triptych of framed pebbles. Seriously – pebbles, glued on to a card and stuck into a frame. Like the kind of thing a five-year-old brings back from school, and you say, “That’s lovely darling”, and then quietly dispose of it after they have gone to bed.
Dom is responsible for another artwork, in the seaside room: a bit of rope, in a glass. There are a couple of pebbles in there as well, maybe left over from the framed ones. String and stones, in a glass, by Dom Parker. If my five-year-old brought that home, I’d go and have a word with the school: are you having a bloody laugh?
The guests seem to quite like it, though; they give it an average of three and a half stars out of five. Oh, I see, that’s how the star ratings work here: six guests – Sophie, Jack,
Errol, Jane, Michael and Paul – just give it a rating, like Tripadvisor.
That’s a little amateur, and arbitrary isn’t it? But symptomatic of the show as a whole.
Only Jane likes the kedgeree. Steph and Dom organise a beach party in the hotel bar, too – cocktails and fancy dress. It’s the one thing they do that everyone agrees is a roaring success, five stars across the board. This is clearly where their real talents lie - having a good time, and having a drink. Cheers!
I do try to keep up with what’s going on in Made in Chelsea (E4), because I think it’s important, and they are beautiful, and blond, and rich. I’ve lapsed though, missed out altogether on MIC Ibiza [makes note to catch up], where all kinds of stuff seems to have kicked off. Cheating and splitting up, mostly, so that now just about everyone is fabulously single.
We’re back in south west London, but Balearic aftershocks rumble on, feuds and jealousies, as well as new excitements. Proudlock is excited for Jamie and Alex, who are freshly showered and shaved, sporting new threads, and ready to take on whatever the day throws at them. Girls hopefully.
Frankie has a new puppy, to replace Jamie. Tiff is opening a vegan restaurant, to replace Sam. Victoria doesn’t like vegans, or feminists or the gluten free, but something called a drip and chill (intravenous vitamin drip therapy) seems to be OK.
Mimi doesn’t like vegans either, or maybe she just doesn’t like Tiff, because of Sam, but they’re having a lower-case tiff. And Toff – a lower case one too of course, they all are
– is finding it tough knowing whose side to take … See what I mean about important? Possibly even a little bit inspirational, no?
Steph and Dom’s One Star to Five Stars: like The Hotel Inspector